12600 Pelican Beach Road, Merrifiled, MN (218) 851-1937
Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life, Sewing
We have been invaded by Gnomes! I am crazy for these little fellas! Gnomes are the cutest things ever! After I saw how you could make these gnomes and so simply too, I went nuts and made a ton of them! Plus I got this stamp set which really made my day! So guess what our Christmas card will be this year? Yep…GNOMES! Oh they are cute! Here are some of the creations! Gnome invasionGnome Invasion Gnome Invasion Now time for you to make one or more! Step by step: Gnome Invasion After you cut your sock at the heal (I use an ankle sock) stuff the toe part with rice. About 1/2 cup enough for it to stand. Gnome Invasion Add some stuffing to make him or her chubby Gnome Invasion Tie a small rubber band around top to hold stuffing in Gnome Making You can hot glue beard on now or wait until you get the hat and nose on. This can be last. Gnome Invasion Place your fuzzy sock on top…I cut mine in half depends on the size you purchased. If you do get a bigger one use it for another Gnome. And here is where it starts…you keep making more! Gnome Invasion Hot glue your nose on the white sock. Gnome Invasion As you can see I added legs. Also the top of the sock on the hat can be formed into a ball by adding another small rubber band. Or add a pom pom. The legs are 2″ of fabric as long as you like sewn together and added pompoms for shoes. For white noses I added color by sponging with red ink. I tell you…you won’t be able to stop! Now for the cards… Gnome InvasionGnome Invasion . The set for this is by Fun Stampers Journey. I used the alcohol markers to give a bright watercolor look. I tried the watercolor pencils but it wasn’t strong enough plus it took longer. I love adding glue glitter as well as white liquid appliqué that puffs up when you heat it with a heating tool. Before you heat it, you can add glitter and when it puffs up it will sparkle! I love them all…can’t wait to make some more…happy gnome! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Crafts
Ooo laaa laaa! This craft room has become my room for sure! My room with its brightness and special touches has truly made crafting so much more delightful in every way! I love how not only the windows puts a smile on your face, but the paint choice, the day bed, and small details just bring a sense of peace. I still have a cute light I found to yet install. It’s on back order, but fits my whimsy style. I will take a picture when it’s installed so check back. My hubby is also adding a shelving with drawers that will go under the desk he made. This will help take some of the clutter on the desk into the easy access drawers. Lastly, I will be having a friend paint a verse on the wall. She can’t make it until January but she did the rest of our home and can’t wait how she will finish this very special part of the room. Doing my morning devotionals on my day bed and looking up at the verse will surely start my day with HIS faithfulness and love. Enjoy the pictures of the room. It really was fun to create and now…inspiration and creation will be easily sparked in this whimsy craft room! New Craft Room New Craft Room Craft room detailThe verse makes this chair! Lovin’ it! New Craft RoomSo this room has defiant character don’t you think? The last touches… New Craft Room And my lamp. I decided not to even sew this lamp shade as the heart pins on the top are too adorable…so I kept them on. Now…time to craft! Bye for now! I’ll keep the light on for ya if you want to join me! I have an extra chair or two! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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Crafts, Ranch Life
Oh I can’t believe it! For 25 years I have had my little craft room in the laundry room with no windows. My hubby would joke and say, “you can do your sewing and at the same time get the laundry done.” HA HA!
Now that we are empty nesters my man and I got to work creating a new craft room with lots of natural light!

 A new craft room with color and light will make creating so much more exciting! 

I am calling it my Whimsy room! Because of the whimsy decor…so cute!


Here is what the room looked like before we began. Our son  Mitchell.

Craft Room
Now for the fun part…gutting and getting walls ready for new brightness!

We were given old base boards as a donation so I decided to use these as a  crown molding around the room. I painted them white…and added a splash of distressing…

New Craft Room

Dan mounted them…they look so cool against the painted wall!
New Craft Room

We also decided to empty the closet taking out the old racks and will turn this area into the main area for stamping.
New Craft Room

This next part was so fun to do and really makes for a cute window especially a craft room! I wanted a WHIMSY type of room so looking at ideas for window decor I came up with this. What do you think?

Whimsy or what? It was also a project I could do NOW since I had to wait for the flooring to come in. 

New Craft RoomNew Craft Room




New Craft Room
I just took material and cut them into strips tying them onto a white cord made of cotton. I measured the cord out by hanging it on the window so I knew how long I wanted the swag. Lookin’ whimsy for sure!
Even the rod is whimsy!
New Craft Room
New Craft Room

 


Next took some time as Dan has never put hardwood floor in before. The underlayment isn’t tricky but thank God for Youtube. 

Oh the hardwood is so pretty. I couldn’t resist and laid some down to see what it looked like. Getting all his measurements and knowing direction of wood he began the first layers. 
He is so good at stuff like this and being a perfectionist he did it well!

New Craft Room
OK…he finished the floor…

I think it turned out great! The details of this little room will make creating so fun and cheerful!

Isn’t it important to feel good in a place you are creating in?
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Bible Journaling, Crafts

Have you ever thought about if you ever would need a heart transplant whose heart you would get? Would it be a person who is famous? Maybe someone who had committed a murder! Or maybe someone who has given their whole life to serving others. The whole fact that one would need a transplant is scary as the risks are so high and recovery can be long.

But God gave us a chance without any of those risks or worrying about its past!

But have you thought about today? Do you need a new heart today? I do!


Do you find yourself stuck on your own views whether political, religious, or even, you will NEVER eat Asparagus. Are you stubborn, set in your own ways?

In the book of Ezekiel, starting in 36: 22, we read, “Therefore (read the passage before will help), give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: I am bringing you back, but not because you deserve it.

Ok…we need to stop a minute. First, this passage is a message from the Sovereign Lord. Sovereign meaning all powerful, all in control…GOD Himself! If we are at all a person who desires to please others, we first need to please God. Listening to Him is a great start. Think about this for a minute. The God who created the universe is speaking to you. He is speaking and saying, “I am bringing you back”.

 

Back from what? Well, really our sinful self, our stubborn ways, and thoughts that we are always right. Look at the next part. He is even bringing us back and we don’t even deserve it. AMAZING! Yet, so many of us don’t understand this. We really don’t deserve what we have now or for believers, heaven. But our Jesus longs for us to spend eternity with Him so He paid the price of death, which as a sinless man he didn’t deserve. We do.

When we read on the Lord did this for His people to show how holy He is and that HE is Lord. He made a promise to bring them home. In verse 25 He sprinkles CLEAN water on each person. Washing the sin away. OH WHAT A SIGHT!

Again…if we don’t realize we are unclean we cannot accept this sprinkle of cleanliness. We cannot understand the need for a beautiful shower from our Lord. But when we do…

Verse 26…I WILL GIVE YOU A NEW HEART! There it is! Our transplant!

 

The transplant was successful! New, clean, pumping, and beating! The Lord has taken out our stony, stubborn old heart and given us a tender, responsive heart. DO YOU SEE THIS? Don’t you WANT to be tender? Don’t you WANT to be responsive to others? Think about your views again going back to the beginning. Your views on world issues. Did you react in a way that was tender to someone else’s position? Were you responding in love, tenderness, understanding? I can tell you…this is where this passage hit me…right in the HEART!

 

YEP, I need a transplant, everyday! I am quick to my viewpoints or beliefs and am not being a good witness to a God Who is patient and kind.

 

As I read on in this passage, I simply came before the Lord praying for a transplant. A transplant I may need to ask many times over, as I am a sinner. However, as a sinner I have a Savior. I know with every new heart I need to ask for forgiveness and He will forgive AND FORGET EVERY time. Unlike us humans, Jesus forgives and moves on.

 

A heart transplant on an operating table is far more risky as well as many months of healing, but a heart transplant from our Jesus is easy, not painful, and best of all will lead you to an abundant life with Him!

 

May you be open to receive a daily transplant and in turn be sprinkled with His blessings.


Love deeper, talk sweeter, ask for a new heart (and be amazed at HIS answer)
Lee
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Crafts, Ministry, Ranch Life
We are gearing up for our Harvest Hoedown at True North Ranch!

We can’t wait to share all the Lord has done this year and since we have been in operation  for 10 years it will be especially rewarding to have folks come and see the ranch first hand!
 
In the weeks ahead we will be preparing for little stations throughout the ranch. Here are some of the things we are prepping  and creating.

Kids can make a craft called a Prayer Jar! I just love this idea!
Here are the supplies needed: (affiliate links that when you click on also help our ministry at the ranch)

Harvest Hoedown
Fun Foam Faith Shapes
Fun Foam Faith Sayings
Plastic Mason Jars

For some adhesives I recommend:
Glue Dots
Tacky Glue

And Sharpies for markers:
Big pack

And of course the BLING!
LOVE these!!
Really no need for directions as it is simply sticking on items and using markers to decorate. Let the creative juices flow for the love of the Lord!
Hoedown
On we go to decorating the ranch grounds.  Scarecrows!  I hope they don’t freak out the horses but they will look so darn cute! 


My kids and I will be hunting down some cornstalks and colorful flowers to place on fence posts and of course we will have to scrounge up some pumpkins to place in a variety of places. Color is my big thing since September isn’t a real colorful time yet. I will have to get creative in this area. 

Harvest Hoedown
A wonderful volunteer helped paint up some signs and prepped our photo op area. SO cute! Hay bales, and ropes to make a memory for all who come!


We also used bandana’s to mark for parking by ripping them into strips and tying them to a hay string. This showed folks where they could park as well as added some fun decor outside the ranch area. The full bandanas we used to decorate the tree lines. This will help add the color too!
harvest hoedown

The silent auction area will have tables decorated with the faux wood as well as the bandana skirt. This will be darling!

Our chuck wagon will be loaded with grub with a fall menu serving of course our favorite pumpkin tea and spiced apple cider. To decorate this area I found this really awesome faux wood roll. Fits perfect as my hubby couldn’t finish the table part in time.

Our prizes for the sack races, cake walk, and pony barrel races will be goodies wrapped in a bandana.
We chose Golden Nuggets of course to fit our Nugget! Horses, and candy.
Harvest Hoedown

The ranch will have some fun games like horse shoe, corn hole, and ropin’ the calf.  All fun for all ages!

We also hired a wonderful husband and wife team to sing us along and have good ol’ line dancing’! I can’t wait for this part! HEE HAW!

To end our day we have a couple of kids who will demo what they have gained from having sessions at TNR. This part I hope will be a special part for our folks to see and hear the message of hope along with our speaker and worship time. 
Hoedown
Everyone will get a little tea bag as a memory and thank you full of our favorite TNR harvest pumpkin tea blend. I used these organic muslin bags with a tag THANK YOU stamped on each one. 

OH how I love to throw a Hoedown, especially giving God all the glory!


I will post pictures along the way.
So until then,
Happy Harvest!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Bible Journaling, Healing, Ministry, Ranch Life

What pathway are you on right now? What is your trail like? Is it full of poison ivy? Are you tripping on broken sticks? Is there a fork on your trail and you don’t know which one to take?  Are there puddles too big to jump over or mud so deep your just  plain ol’ stuck?

Maybe your pathway is beautiful, full of joy and no worries. You feel all is well and perfect.

About 10 years ago, a ministry came into our community helping financially troubled families who were living on the streets or in their cars. This ministry was wonderful as it allowed the days for children to play or attend a local school and parents to find jobs and homes. In the evenings, the families would go to a church to be fed and loved and have a place to sleep along with a big dinner and breakfast. The ministry is called New Pathways. What a perfect name!   Individuals whose pathways somehow got goofed up, led wrong, or made wrong choices which allowed for a new beginning, new start, new pathway.

In our sessions this year, pathways is our focus word we use as a foundation to their time with the horses on the ranch. So far it has opened many conversations and openness I haven’t really experienced before.

I love how the Lord leads me to certain things such as words like this, verses, passages of scripture, and reminders of my own stories or experiences. 

 

Have you ever stopped to look down a road? A trail? A sidewalk? An aisle? In every step we take throughout a day, we are always on a pathway. If the pathway we are on is causing pain in some way in our life or we know is not a path the Lord would want us on, we must somehow make a new one. We must at that point make a choice to choose a pathway that may not be easier but give us freedom. It may be freedom from sin. It may be freedom from conflict. It may be freedom from addiction. Whatever pathway you’re on, your Savior is longing for you to find a new one!

At times I find the pathway I am on is safe and easy as I know it so well. But the Lord is asking me to try a new pathway to stretch my journey. He desires for me to explore and learn and in that time I will have to depend on Him more and more because I don’t know the path well. That’s the pathway I am on right now. This ministry is constantly challenging in the way the Lord is bringing in new ideas and opportunities. They are like weeds to pull, or brush to move to clear the trail. Sometimes I want to turn around and go back on the pathway that I knew before. A pathway where I knew every area that is dangerous or could “trip” me up. A path or trail that didn’t cost me so much hard work!

 In this new pathway, I have no idea what’s ahead.  I haven’t either been on it before or have and it caused pain somewhere along the way. I surely don’t want to go through it again. YET, my heavenly Father wants me to try because He has a new plan within the new pathway. I must trust Him, believe, and ultimately obey.

 

By obedience I am choosing to say no to self. Choosing His ideas not mine. Simply, surrendering my will.  

One of my favorite verses I have memorized, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding but in ALL ways acknowledge Him and He will keep your path straight. “ Proverbs 3:5-   HE does…every time I am obedient.

My salvation verse, “Your word is the lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Ps. 119:105  By READING the bible every day not just short devotions or commentary from others but truly reading, absorbing, and talking to the Lord, HE will direct my path for the day and days to come. Again, obedience and choosing the path of being still, alone with my Jesus.

Pathways offer hope. They offer second chances. They open new opportunities. New pathways draws you closer to your Redeemer who is molding your character to be more and more like Him. 

Possibly, you may not be on the path with Jesus. You may be walking alone. Afraid, lonely, or simply unhappy. Will you trust in a Savior who promises to walk with you? He promises “He will never leave you or forsake you. He is with you always.” That is the best part of choosing the path with Christ! 

So what pathway are you on? What trail will you take? Will you choose today to follow HIS lead and walk the trail together no matter what it may bring you?

Enjoy your ride or walk…on your NEW pathway!

Love deeper, talk sweeter along your journey,
Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards

Summer is here! Finally! And with it comes graduations and wedding parties. So to work I went on an idea in creating a mason jar wedding gift.

What sparked the idea? Well, the bride had mason jars on her wedding list. Wedding Gift

For me, I couldn’t just give EMPTY jars…NO…and boom…came this idea.

Each jar represents one month, beginning with their married month which is June.

The bride is someone special as she was in my first high school group of girls I mentored. From her 9th grade year through her graduation, I saw this young smiley girl turn into a beautiful young woman fired up to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. She came in seeking, and indeed found the Lord on her journey. 
This celebration of marriage, relationship, and commitment I am looking forward to sharing with her and her new love. 

We also are giving a jar full of heart cookies, engraved M+R on them and the “We Still Do” sign giving a reminder of each year together. 








Below I put a list of what I put into each jar. I also added a bible verse which went along with what I put in the jar, or to the month it was.

I added a message with the verse giving advice in God’s word on marriage and relationships. 

It was so fun! I hope they find it as special as it was to make. Each month was using Pic Monkey for labels and editing pictures. 

Here ya go:

June: Long Grain Rice
Wedding Gift
July: Red, White, Blue chocolate kisses and Dove candy
Wedding Gift
August: Brides birthday…candles, and matches
Wedding Gift
September: Bride’s a teacher, ginger tea with an apple theme
Wedding Gift
October: Ginger Snap Tea or Pumpkin Tea
Wedding Gift
November: Deer (she loves to hunt)
Wedding gift
December: 2 elf hats to go and serve and give of their time
Wedding Gift
January: COOL gum mints (talked about not letting relationship get cold)
Wedding Gift

February: Rose pedals and lollipop rings
Wedding Gift
March: Toothpicks (when a conversation gets prickly…)
Wedding Gift
April: 2 plastic eggs in grass (don’t put all your eggs in one basket filled with messaging essential oils and diffusing oil)
Wedding Gift
May: Jolly Ranchers (because we ranch and they love them)
Wedding Gift

Remember any links you click and purchase goes to help us serve kids in need on our ranch. We love to do what we do. Just like this young woman who marries a godly man mentored and pointed her to Christ welcomes a life full of HIS promises. 

Thank you! May the Lord bless you today and enjoy making gifts homemade with love for others!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards
Spring is a time for splashy colors and making fun, cute baskets to give to loved ones and friends! 

My favorite colors are the bright lime greens, soft yellows, and of course the pinks, so I decided to make up these baskets for birthday gift giving and of course May Day surprises.

You can find the die cut shapes on Sizzix or Amazon which I will highlight under the pictures. Remember, there is a TON of ideas on the  Sizzix site and really look around you may find a cuter die cut that fits your style. For example, the butterfly. There are many to choose from and if I had a more detailed one I would have used that, but didn’t.
I found Amazon provided some better basket boxes and Sizzix was sold out of a few.
 I had to bounce between the two and so may you. You will need a Big Shot or Cuttlebug to cut your dies. Once your into this machine your creative juices will really rock!

I also have come upon another company, The Fun Stampers Journey. I have a link to a gal who would be happy to help you, as well as get some of the die cuts from her. Her name is Pam and she is sweet. When you go to her link, you can click on the catalog and look around. 
FSJ also has the bags!

So enjoy the shopping and being creative. 

To make the basket topper you will need either one of these:

The solid die cut from Sizzix the #661018, just put it in the search part.
Daisy die from Amazon

For a CUTE scallop but with more lace type flare try this one:

You will see more…see what you like.

Scallop lace from Amazon
For these two  Sizzix doesn’t carry any more but put links from Amazon for you.

Here is one

Sizzix

Circle Scallop #660021 for fun edging. Just put it in the search part of the site. 

 Here is one

Hope the video here helps in how to make the basket handle for your bags.


Want some of these cute bags? Lime green, purple, pink, yellow, and teal. Just email me and I would be happy to send you some! Free will offering! (they’re cheap!) I did say 50 cents a bag on the video, but want you to have them if you like.

homesteadranchgirl@gmail.com

Enjoy making your fun basket gift bags this spring! They are cute!

Here is a video explaining how I did them. MAN Smilebox hasn’t fix this yet, but hope to get it fixed so you can see the whole HOW TO which got cut off. Hang in there…it will get fixed!


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Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Bible Journaling, Peace, Ranch Life
Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today?

Why is it some days seem like bad things keep piling up? A phone call, a text, news, prayer chain, things breaking down, on and on. The feeling of powerlessness and simply… overwhelmed by it all! Are you feeling overwhelmed by something today?

“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her warfare is ended, her iniquity is pardoned,  she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.”
Isaiah 40:11

After reading this passage with a weight as heavy as the spring snow, comes another overwhelming feeling…peace. You see, by taking time in my bible reading and listening to what the Lord is saying takes the overwhelming negative stuff and turns it all into overwhelming peace. Why? 

God’s got this! He has the bad news, illness of others, death of a loved one, house or car falling apart, bills to paid. The Lord has all these worldly struggles but we so often carry the weight of the snow ourselves. So dumb! However, each time the bad comes we have a choice.


Look at the first two words. Comfort He even repeats it, COMFORT. The Lord God is comforting His children by speaking tenderly. Our God is so personal demonstrating with a word that instantly brings peace. COMFORT!

I love this! 

How does our God bring comfort? First through His word by reading it, accepting, and receiving every word as true.

By a phone call from an encourager and someone who will pray your problem through.

Simply waiting, crying out to God, and asking for peace in the struggle brings upon a little more peace.

What have you heard or dealt with in just the last few days? What struggle? What did you do when you heard it or came upon it? Did you call a friend? How about going to your phone or computer and facebooking your problem? Maybe just wept and kept  it to yourself. All of these things are not bad but did they help? Did you carry this struggle throughout your day, week, or longer? 

I would say NOT, as I have done all the above!

 Rather than going to self gratifying answers, may I suggest once again turning to your Lord and Savior. Trust me, He has the answers. He says “the warfare is ended” it’s done! He has it taken care of. Our sins our even pardoned as the verse continues and even received double! Amazing good news! Do you see that? We need to look up when a struggle happens so the bad news can be turned to good by trusting in HIS ways and HIS timing. 

The Lord does not want us in an overwhelmed state feeling like we are stuck or up to our necks with problems we can’t escape. He wants us to experience freedom even in the tough times. The longer we stay in the struggle the less we can do for Him. 

If I am holding onto a problem, I can’t do the tasks of this ministry. My focus is on the problem vs. getting to His call on my life. When I am in a session with a child who is facing a major struggle, I am not able to be a good example of living in freedom with Christ. Therefore, when I am sharing Christ it isn’t as powerful as when I have prayed and given the problem to the Lord.

overwhelmed cowboy
Looking at his picture do you see a cowboy up to his neck with snow? Or do you see a cowboy enjoying looking over the top and seeing the LIGHT and being thankful it’s not over his head. It’s like the glass half full thing.  How do we deal with  life issues and what is given to us?

Here’s a thought. Next time you experience an overwhelmed situation, look up. Get in the Word. 

Pray, talk to God letting Him know your pain and struggle. God doesn’t want you to carry the load He already has. He can melt that snow! Maybe not same day, or season even. But He will melt it!

So call on Him, get rid of it so you can get back to HIS purpose for your day and life.

Trust your God can bring an overwhelmed circumstances to overcoming!

May you find the peace that passes all understanding, listen to his tender words, and embrace the word COMFORT in the world of overwhelming problems.

Give it to Him and Get to work! Ultimately, He is given all the glory because you gave your struggle to Him and trusted Jesus to take care of your worries.

We are getting into the Easter season…FREEDOM is celebrated! If you give  baskets to love ones, think about a basket of Hope, Freedom, and His Love! Giving HIS word, a bible, or a simple message of Hope in a card!

 

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
enjoy some quiet time
with Jesus,
Lee 
(new diffusers for your essential oils and other 
good things)
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Crafts, Ranch Life, Sewing
Oh boy! These quilted gift baskets are SOOO adorable I can’t even stand it! 

I had a hard time at first, partly because the directions were hard for me to understand, but once I got them, well…look I made a TON! I couldn’t stop!

I am a beginner sewer and making these quilted baskets wasn’t difficult once I made one.  The video is to help others like me and make the process a little quicker.




One of the things I love the most is the versatility and the 3 different materials. The ribbon effect all around just makes the basket as well! 

Take note, I put fleece in some of the handles and the ones that didn’t have it are droopy so I would recommend putting that in. Also if you have a button attachment to your machine, do those ahead before folding the bag and sewing edges. Just a couple of things I learned along the way and am passing along to you.

Here is the link to the FREE DOWNLOAD from Hugs and Holly!

Here is a video on a step by step: 

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life
WOW! When I saw  Stampin’ Up! got a new set called the Barn Door I just about flipped out! I LOVE barn doors! I love them for our closest, for our tack shack and of course it just fits who we are. SO to have a stamping set that I can make fun cards with well…the frosting is on the cake!

Some things you will need for this set…
Big Shot
Card Stock (I prefer SU! but if you shop on line here is a good one)
Barn Set and matching template cut outs are from Stamping’ Up! If you need a demonstrator, let me know via email or in comments. I would love to hook you up withs some gals I know!

Below is a video showing it step by step as it is a bit tricky and time consuming at first. However when you get the SWING of it…well…you will be hooked! SOOOOO CUTE!!

Here is the video so you can watch it step by step…..




I did take some time to make up a bunch of the framlet cut outs. I put them into a container I can use later. It will make it easier when I want to make a card but don’t have as much time. 
Also, you can use instead of the washer, a 1/2″ punch.   The 3/4″ was better for me, but you decide. Use a heavier card stock when you do. 

Here are my creations:







Ok I have to do something else.  This set is just amazing and I am getting nothing else done!

I actually have a couple more I will post later.
You will love it!!! 
I am indeed in heaven as I created these. I hope you will give it a try and POST YOUR creations below. I love inspiration and I am sure others will too!

God’s blessing as you bless others with homemade stamped cards!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Crafts, Living Naturally, Paper/Cards, Sewing
Making herbal tea is a daily thing for our family. We enjoy making herb teas using my love of blending many different herbs. But the best part is making it all special especially when I give it as a gift.

One thing I love to do is make individual tea bags full of my special blends, but it is hard to find a tea bag that will work so I decided to create my own. 

I decided to use coffee filters or Bulk Herb Store has some too. Sewing makes it fun as you can add colored thread to make it match a gift or a theme. Thinking about all this Viking stuff around here, purple thread tea bags would be fun!

Stamping is another added love so getting out stamps to go with the persons personality or if it’s a special occasion like a birthday.  I of course used our touch of simple ranch life  which became my platform to make the tea tags. I hope you will find it just as fun and your special touches will be a delight for the receiver.

Let me know what you think by making a comment below. I enjoy seeing the ideas as well as ways to improve my own ideas. 

SO…here ya go!


Now for the fun part! Stamping time! Grab some fun background paper and favorite stamps  stamp and cut out. Final step, tape to your dangling string. Done! I am sure it looks adorable. You can go into Amazon and search favorite stamps if you are not into western. 

Here are some I did. 
Think how wonderful it would be to get a get well card with a fun box full of tea bags with herbs that will help whatever their illness.

Very special and  a homemade touch!

OH I love it…enjoy making some and giving them as gifts! Again, let me know by making a comment.
God’s blessings,

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee

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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life, Ranch Life

Do you have days; maybe whole seasons where you just need a boost of faith? Are you experiencing times of loneliness, defeat, or just plain emptiness? Is life throwing you some curve balls that are overwhelming you right now? Maybe it is just a season of nothing exciting happening. Your just feeling BLAH!!

These are warning signs to quickly turn to God’s word to GIVE YOU A BOOST!

I read this passage today and took out my illustrated faith creative kit, and began mediating on this passage. Hebrews 11:3. “By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God’s command, that what we now see did not come from anything that can be seen.” 
We have no idea what God has planned. But resting in faith helps us hang on!

 

Oh MY, you can’t help but get a boost! Look at each verse in the chapter.
Each of them has a story behind them that will bring your heart and mind to awe.

WHY? Because each story has a character like you and me, we can begin to relate in some way. You will  have no doubt that there is a God who is watching over you when you experience the Lord working during your down seasons. He indeed has power to help you overcome your dark times here on earth.

Some of the stories, which I believe are all true and indeed happened, bring me immediately to a place of comfort because they show me God is in control They show me that in all things, God brings together for our good.

 

Let me share on a personal note.

 

Four years ago we had our horses boarded at a near by farm. For three years we did our ministry from this barn. It was wonderful as it had a heated indoor facility, huge outdoor arena, and beautiful trails. We just loved it there, and the folks who ran it were awesome. It really was perfect. We also had this property, which we are now on, but the Lord was not opening the doors for us to be on this property. At times I would walk this land and pray and hope ministry would indeed happen here. That it would become a full on ministry in our own area that we called True North Ranch. I would walk the land and the Lord would give me pictures of what it would soon look like. Imagining a road here, a fence there, the horses eating, and ministry happening.

 

But it just wasn’t happening.

 

One spring day in early April, we had the yearly vet day. As the boarders, me, and the owners were busy getting horses into the stalls preparing for the vet visit, it seemed a little weird. The owners weren’t their happy selves. The owner came in head down, no smile or greeting and proceeded to close the barn doors. She remained somber and quiet and went on to share that she had some bad news.

My heart dropped.

 

Someone had reported their barn as not being compliant with the area laws and turned them in. (ALL NOT TRUE to the extent they were demanding). The authorities told them they could no longer have boarding horses. We were devastated. All of us! We were saddened that our friends all standing before us were hurting and going through this and at the same time thinking what WE would do. (As if our God didn’t have a plan)

 

The worst thing the owner shared was we needed to be out by June 1. THAT WAS ONLY 2 MONTHS away!

But the Lord our GOD had a plan!

We had this property. This property just sitting there waiting for the right time. The property in its beauty full of trees, yet… no road, no electricity, no running water, no shelter, no no no…..just trees.

I was excited at the thought of having the horses now on the property, but in the process of excitement I worried about all that had to be done. In two months no less!

Here in Hebrews Chapter 11….my story…In 2 months God rocked! Every day. Every moment, He provided. He provided funds for fencing, automatic water, horse shelter, pump house, round pen, roads, and hay. HE PROVIDED IN HIS TIME and in the right moment.

It wasn’t easy. It didn’t happen over night. But the Lord took what was an awful stressful time…and turned it into awesome.

Only a GOD who cares and loves you can do such a thing!

You have a Chapter 11 faith stories too. You need to look back on what the Lord has done so you can remember how GOOD HE is. By remembering a past trauma and how God brought you through, will get you through the rough patches you are going through right now.

It’s a faith booster! One we all need!

 

Journaling is wonderful because of this. You can go back and look at faith stories of your own. Recalling HIS workmanship in your life gives you strength!

It works for me every time!!!

The stories are my BOOSTS both in the word in and my own.

Get a BOOST of faith today. Journal, create a faith memory, and share it with others who too may need a boost! Being grateful is also a very helpful tool during your time of boosting!

God bless you!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,

Lee

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Crafts, Paper/Cards, Ranch Life
Do you ever wish you had some creative way to give a small gift to friends for family? Just something that can be quick to make and easy to fill? These cute boxes only take some fun background paper and a little do dad here and there. Imagination goes a long way to set the stage for your gift. I always think of the personality or something special about the person to give the gift box a special touch. Especially fun is what you put inside! I put homemade tea bags in one of mine along with a cookie snack. This gives the idea for the person to relax and enjoy a cup of tea. (of course I would only use homemade tea blends) Below I give you other ideas for you to get the picture. So get creative and have a blast with these! With Valentine’s coming up I know there would be teachers who would adore one of the boxes! I used a scorer in my cutter. I love this tool! It extends to 12×12 size paper which I use a ton when making envelopes. I have this set of horses I use ALL the time! I can use watercolor techniques or my new blender markers! LOVE LOVE! Here are some of my favorite background papers GREAT price too… Flic Flac Western Looks Petite Prints Lawn Fawn Just loved making all these fun cards for ones I love! Enjoy being creative and let me know how you like them…even send a picture! God’s blessings as you give to others of your time and talents! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee  
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Bible Journaling, Crafts, Ministry
Coloring and being creative in card making has always been a love of mine! I have loved to color, draw, scrapbook, and gift making since I was a young girl. But recently, I have enjoyed the art and love of journaling in my daily devotional time.

In the year 2017, I stepped into ANOTHER form of  creativity. I added a planner that I could add fun color, wasabi tape, or stickers to help remind me of different events. 

Who would of ever thought putting your daily calendar into full color and splash would make me WANT to look at it? It helps me remember too as well as fun creating it! 

So in 2018, I got myself a combination of devotional and a planner all in one! In just a few days of starting the new year, I have enjoyed the doodling, journaling and I think the best part is the focused verse. I take it with me throughout the day. Memorizing, pondering, and loving God’s word in my daily tasks. This one is on a non affiliate but wanted to share. Dayspring also has a TON to choose from.


I also love how I can write prayer requests, or look to see who I need to pray for. 

While I am in my devotional time and the Lord inspires something on my heart, I can still be creative in my bible. I can do my devotional than plan my day and still be focusing on God’s word and prayer.  One day I reverse it and you know what? It helped me focus more on my quiet time because I got the  “to do” out of my mind. By having the business part done, I could flow right into prayer and praise and time in His word. I JUST love this!

Watch a video!

 I think that is what I love so much about journaling as it can be drawn, written, or just doodling my thoughts. In my bible, I will often date it when I have created something, or when something is really on my heart and have gotten a praise or prayer within that time of creating.

If you want to get started, Dayspring has some wonderful Coloring Day Planners! You can click on the link ad of Dayspring and take a look. ***(remember every time you order from this blog you help our ministry)

This year I got a smaller version size planner, and I wished I didn’t.  (above) I like a little bigger space not only to write down my appointments for sessions, but also room to create. So if your pondering the same issue…go bigger!

I love it and hope you will too.  The bible I have for journaling is also on Dayspring or Amazon and all the fun goodies you can get to start. The joy of being in God’s word just got more delightful! OH…and colorful!
Here is a picture of the NEW GOAL kit if your into planning goals or making a vision board. 

Enjoy being creative!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Ranch Life

Do you have a focus word for every new year? Have you ever chosen a word you need to reflect on and make a part of your daily life?

I didn’t until two years ago and I love having this special word to remind, refresh, and renew my soul!  One year I had JOY, last year I had Overcome, this year…REST!





Throughout many days in December I asked the Lord what word do I need to focus on, draw my days around, work on for my own health, help me be a better wife, mom, and missionary? The Lord brought REST into my mind. Over and over…it just kept creeping into my mind as I was working around the ranch and our home. 

Rest!

So REST it is!


What does it mean for me? For one thing it is something the Lord desires for our best. The Lord repeats it many times throughout scripture and HIS first mention of it is in the very first book,
Genesis 1:5. “God called the light “day” and the darkness “night”. And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.” See it there? He stopped working for a time. Resting. 


God goes on making land and sea, vegetation, lights in the sky our sun and moon, animals, and us. Each day He rested at the end. Our Lord didn’t run off and do something else that quickly needed to be done. He didn’t indulge in food or watching TV. He rested.

Moving onto chapter 2:2 God begins with a final detail. “On the seventh day God finished His work of creation, SO HE RESTED”(emphases mine) from all His work.” 

Resting is tricky. We can easily think cleaning up the kitchen, organizing a closet or office, or folding laundry is resting. Even watching TV or playing a game as a family can be thought of as resting. I think sometimes working around the ranch is restful like picking up manure or grooming the horse. But really, that’s work not rest.

 So we have to go back to what God’s definition of rest is.  It’s all about fixing our thoughts on HIM. Resting in HIM. 


Taking a walk is my favorite time of resting. We live in a beautiful area of deep woods. No people, no traffic, nothing but the sound of all those things the Lord has made.  Fixing my thoughts on HIM is easier when there are no distractions plus I am truly refreshed and rested when I am finished. 

Resting is important to God so much so He planted it in the very beginning. He desires for HIS children to be refreshed, rejuvenated, and rested!

We can THINK that doing other things are resting but really…it’s running. In the end, you will be running into more  physical and mental exhaustion. True rest. What does it look like?

Getting alone with God. whether it’s a walk, cuddling up with a good helpful book and a cup of tea, watching a sunrise or sunset, or  journaling are great ways to rest your mind and body. Trail riding is always a restful time but not often workable as well as it can be stressful if the boys are feisty. Plus, I love spending time with my husband but chatting away isn’t always restful. So finding and doing restful things that are accessible and best for my mind and spirit are key.

My goal for 2018 will be a year I will focus on rest. I will start my day finding verses on rest, journaling, and living my day thinking of the importance of resting in my Father’s arms. He desires the best…so I will listen and obey, peacefully and gladly!

After all, isn’t just the sound of rest give you peace?  Running just feels exhausting even typing it, so why do I choose running vs. resting? Human nature I guess.

Prayerfully, I hope you too will find rest in 2018. The Lord hopes so too!
Here are some scriptures I found on REST to begin your journey…

Genesis 1
Genesis 2:2-5
Exodus 20:8-10
Exodus 23:12
Exodus 33:14
Psalm 4:8
Psalm 23
Psalm 55:6
Psalm 127:2
Isaiah 14:3-4
Matthew 11: 28-30 (Favorite)
Mark 2:27
Mark 6:31
Hebrews 4:9-11 (another favorite)

There are many more…search…rest…and enjoy Jesus time!

This gal’s blog has some great FREE downloads and wonderful tips! Check it out!

God bless you year…may it be a restful one!
Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee
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Crafts, Ranch Life, The Boys
This is such a fun project! Making a Wholly Snuffle is a perfect gift to give your dog to keep them busy for a few minutes or some even longer.

Our dog Cruz loves to have a job! Being a Border Collie he is in constant need of doing some work. If not down at the ranch working the horses, or playing with his agility course, than he has to be doing something to burn off what the Lord has given him. ENERGY and a BRAIN! 
  


Get your fleece, scissors, and mat ready…
Cut your strips and begin…



If you order on the fabric link, our ministry will receive the proceeds!
Click the LINK on the sidebar…you will be giving TWO gifts…
One for your pup, and one to kids in need of healing and hope!





 Put you tail through loop ..


To watch a VIDEO click HERE


This snuffle gives him just that! By using our homemade dog treat recipe, and breaking it up, sprinkling it around the snuffle, and letting him use his nose for the reward we are making him use his brain too.

Such a fun project and gift…We hope you will find it fun too!

If you make one, post a picture below! I would love to see the fun colors and creations you make!

ENJOY!

Love deeper, talk sweeter,
Lee AND Cruz
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Bible Journaling, Ministry, Overcome, Peace, Ranch Life

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased.” Luke 2:14
I have been pondering and journaling this verse all week and one word just poured over me. Peace over stress. Is it possible? Well, I believe yes! No, I CHOOSE to believe yes.

Imagine, being pregnant, or your wife is. You have to travel at the worst time because the government has an order. You get to your destination and they lost your reservation and to top it off, you go into labor so you find the next best place, a barn. (I think this would be kinda cool, but still scary)

Have you ever had so much stress in a day, a week, a month , or year? Does it ever seem like there is no hope in your situation? 

 

The thing is, the angels on that day declared Peace on earth. God had a plan. His plan? For peace to be in people’s hearts. Yet here’s the thing, it will only impact ones who sincerely get the reality that a baby Who’s name is Jesus, came into the world for them, YOU and ME! And to accept it.

Peace only comes to ones who want to see AND experience the peace from the pressures of this world.

 

Just like in the Christmas story with Mary, Joseph, and their new baby we see stress. Stress happens, it builds and it seems like the struggle will never stop!

 



However, when we choose to have peace in the One who is Peace, He can bring calm with in the storm. Flowing rapidly within your heart!

It won’t matter to you what the doctor tells you, what a person says bad about you, what is happening in the world. “The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phill. 4:7
I personally experience this peace when I hear bad news. Having cancer. Losing my dad. My oldest deciding and becoming a police officer AND moving 1600 miles away. Plus a ton more! Stress happens daily. But it is always in the CHOICE of how we choose to deal with that stress. 

How would you love to embrace a peace that nothing can pierce through? How is that possible?

First, it’s through acceptance. Accepting you are a sinner, that every day won’t be a wonderful, peachy day but you will trust God through it.

Next… and this is a tough one…don’t waste time thinking things over and over in your mind. Worrying, repeating the situation in your mind, instead, choose to set “your affection on things above.” Colossians 3:2

Lastly, give thanks in every moment you can . Set you mind to bring everything to prayer instead of fretting over things you can not fix. Phill. 4:6 “In everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be know to God.” Have you Thanked GOD for a problem, situation, relationship issue, or any bad news? YES this verse is saying IN EVERYTHING be prayerful and thankful! It’s hard, but I did this for the first time several years ago when our son almost died. I THANKED God. Why? Because within thanking Him for the 19 months I had with Mitch, I was giving him back to Jesus. God knows and HE is in control. There is SO much Peace in receiving that one truth!

God will turn all things to good…He promises!

 

So this season, think of the First Holy Family, starting out stressful, in a corrupt world, yet finding peace that this new child is the born King Who is called, Prince of Peace!


May your season this year and next be filled with HIS Peace that ONLY HE CAN GIVE!
In Jesus Name!
LOVE DEEPER, TALK SWEETER,
Lee

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Crafts, Ranch Life
We indeed love our coffee, tea, and cocoa especially this time of year! Being outside most of our day we fill up an airpot full of one of these beverages which sure keeps us motivated.

Indeed, having a place for my teas has been a challenge. So I asked my hubby to build me a shelf that I can put items on. I love the idea of coffee bars you see on Pinterest but none of them fit our tiny kitchen. Instead together Dan and I created what would fit for us and of course the ranch life. 


I put chalk labels on the jars for my teas so they can be anything that fits into your lifestyle. You can fill them with cocoa items, like marshmallows, cocoa in different flavors, or whatever works for you. The hooks are all different. We are in the process of making more for the Etsy Store. I am hoping to post them this week. 


Another fun project was this one. WE STILL DO! 
This is such a great gift idea for new married’s to already celebrating years together. The chalk on the end gives the couple a yearly tradition of changing the number of years. I prefer using chalk markers vs. chalk. Last longer, and of course the colors stand out more!


Our Etsy Store

As with everything we do, what we sell and when folks purchase from the blog, the proceeds goes directly back into our ranch ministry. 
When you shop with us, you are giving double!
Your purchase is one, the other is eternal!

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts! 
Spread the word by sharing the blog with your loved ones. We love sharing our life with others!

God’s blessings upon each of you,
Love deeper, talk sweeter EVERYDAY!
Lee and Dan
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Crafts, Ranch Life
Giving a gift with purpose that is made with the love of your hands is just plain ol’ the best! No fancy words here…it is just simply the best gift you can give. No matter the celebration, when you make it the meaning is stamped; homemade in love! When you give a gift of purpose like making up your own blend of teas, bath and body ointments, albums, bible journaling supplies, etc…your giving something that will be encouraging good health and wellness. From the inside out! If your first thought of making a homemade gifts is coming across as cheap. Well, let me tell you first hand, it isn’t cheap when you take precious time to make a gift verses going to a mall or on line and purchasing a gift. Plus, using all natural ingredients in cooking, or cosmetics is anything BUT cheap! In the past several years, I have made gifts from blankets, wood crafts, to a special Christmas where I took pictures my dad was going to throw away and made individual albums for each of my siblings. There are seven of us. It took me 6 months to make those albums and I wouldn’t trade the long nights or cost for anything. That Christmas still holds dear to my heart watching the faces and the tears as each sibling went back into their childhood to precious memories. Giving a homemade gift is truly a gift of love. I believe that with all my heart! So I have created this blog to some of my favorites. Remember any items you purchase by the links or on the websites on this blog the funds help support our ministry at www.truenorthranch.org Thank you! 1.) Photo Album Ideas: Make for individuals in your life, or a special event: Make up a KIT! Kids, grandkids…love this! Buy your album base, scallop clear album or a flip flop. I love these too by Bo Bunny. We have made Love, Friend, Family, and Believe.  Maya Road makes fun mini albums and accessories too. Add ribbon, background paper, bling, whatever the theme to complete the project. I loved making one with a memory of my dad who I knew wouldn’t be with me long. Sure enough, the Lord brought him home 7 months later. GOOD thing I made a small album memory. Flip Flop is my daughters from 2007! She loved putting memories and favorites into a cute little look. Using this product made an incredible finish, quick and easy too! Once you decorate your plaque like your creating a scrapbook page, you just pour this mix on top and dry for 24 hours. AWESOME gift! 2.) Stocking Stuffers: Candy bar Snowman: Tea, Cocoa, or Coffee: Make a special blend of tea and put into a mason jar. Label and put decorative fabric on lid. I also made up individual tea bags using organic muslin bags for a cup of tea. Ornaments Bible journaling goodies from Dayspring 3.) A  gift of HIS Word cost $10-$60 Depending on if you need to purchase a bible for this your cost will flexuate. Dayspring has many ideas here from coloring tools, stickers, to just getting started kits. You can have stocking stuffers of smaller items like the pom poms and paper clips, and a godl gift with your bible and markers or gel pens. The BEST GIFT to give is this gift ot HIS word! If you have a young person or teeen in your life, this is wonderful! 4.) Quilts, blankets No sew blankets, quilts, and simple baby comfy and chalk mat 5.) Country Tree 6.) Lip Balm, Salves, and soaps (all using essential oils and herbs of course…NO icky fillers) Lip balm is wonderful! 7. Bath bubbles amazing aroma! WHEW! Lots of love here! Hope some ideas sparked for you to make your everyday giving a little more special! God’s blessings upon you! Love deeper, talk sweeter, Lee
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